Robert O. Baumrucker
Lieutenant
F Division
USN
USS West Virginia
1944-1945

Robert O. Baumrucker, Lieutenant Commander, born July 30, 1909, River Forest, IL; graduated Dartmouth College in 1931 with BA degree; and is an intercollegiate skiing champion.  He joined the USN April 1, 1942, and entered active duty as a lieutenant(jg) on May 20, 1942.  Stationed in the USS Mississippi, Tennessee, West Virginia and office of Public Information, IND.
     Memorable experience was controlling the main battery at Surigao surface action, October 1944, when they got a direct hit on the leading Japanese battleship (first salvo, 12,000 yards).  Also saw action at Kiska, Tarawa, Kwajalein, Leyte Gulf, the second Battle of the Philippines, Surigao Strait, Mindoro, Lingayen Gulf, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
     LCDR Baumrucker was discharged Jan. 12, 1946, from the USNR.  He received the American Theater, Asiatic-Pacific, Philippine Liberation with 2 stars, WWII Victory Ribbon and Presidential Citation.
     Baumrucker wrote and published a 78 page souvenir book covering the very active West Virginia crossing of the equator initiations, a five page account of the action at Surigao as he saw it.  It was started in October 1944 and ready for distribution to the crew shortly after V-J day.  This was in addition to press releases, searching a kamikaze's body and wreckage for intelligence information and carrying on with his division duties including watches on the bridge of West Virginia.

Reprinted with permission - Turner Publishing


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